Historic African Victories Highlight Women’s Volleyball World Championship Opening

Both African nations participating in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Japan celebrated victorious on Saturday to write history on the very first day of competition.

Kenyan Team

Cameroon managed a come-from-behind Pool A victory over Mexico in four sets to register the first ever win for an African team in the history of the women’s World Championships. This was the opening match of the 18th edition’s program and the sensational result set the tone for an exciting event. Blocking was Cameroon’s strong weapon against the North American opponents, with two players, Theorine Mbeza and Stephanie Fotso Mogoung, each scoring five of the team’s 13 stuffs on the way to success.

Cameroon celebrate

Later in the day, Kenya doubled Africa’s joy with an even more emphatic, straight-set, victory over Kazakhstan in Pool D. Scoring as many as 28 points, Mercy Moim led her teammates to a compelling success on the opening day in Hamamatsu.

So more than 40 winless years after the African continent made its debut at the women’s World Championship, when Tunisia played in the 1978 edition, two CAVB representatives triumphed with maiden victories on the very same day.

Lagos Open Tennis: Nigeria’s Babalola Crashes Out In Qualifiers

Ageing Nigerian tennis star, Abdulmumin Babalola, was a major casualty in the first round of qualifiers at the ongoing Lagos Open Tennis International Championship following a 6-1, 6-2 loss to his compatriot, Emmanuel Idoko.

Babalola, with nearly three decades of tennis experience, could not cope with the aggressive play of Idoko who wrapped up the match in just over an hour.

“I was not in good shape but that is not an excuse because he (Idoko) played better,” he said after the match at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.

Babalola, the players’ representatives on the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) board, however, promised to bounce back in the second week.

On a weekend of mixed fortunes for Nigerians, Taiwo Owolabi and Michael Michael progressed with 6-0, 6-0 and 7-5, 6-3 wins over Gerard Codino of France and Sammy Miruiki of Kenya respectively. They are joined by Christian Paul, Olaniyi ibiwoye and Mohammed Mohammed who were drawn bye.

But it was the end of the road for former national champion Henry Atseye as he was beaten 7-5, 6-2 by Sheil Kotecha of Kenya while Ridwan Morakinyo succumbed 6-4, 6-1 to Arnaud Sewanou of Benin.
Paul Emmanuel also strolled to the next stage with a double bagel over Olisaemeka Okafor in an all-Nigeria affair.

photo credit: Lagos Open Tennis

In the women’s singles, Patience Onebamhoin cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Ronke Akingbade while Osarieman Airhunmwunde advanced at the expense of Abiodun Oyegoke 6-2, 6-2. German Jasmin Jebawy also moved to the next stage by beating Shufaa Changawa 6-3, 6-2 just as Olga Brodza of Poland edged Diana Mihail of Romania by the same scoreline.

Meanwhile, the main draw of the two-phase 100,000 prize-money ITF tournament will serve off Monday with no fewer than six Nigerians expected to be in action.

Tournament Coordinator, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, promised fans high-class tennis due to the upgrading of the tournament.

IAAF/MIKKELLER WORLD CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS AARHUS 2019 – SIX MONTHS TO GO

Six months from today, recreational runners from all over the world will have the chance to participate in the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 for the first time. On Saturday 30 March 2019, Denmark will be hosting this spectacular event, where the very best runners in the world, along with recreational runners, will embrace the raw and elementary DNA of the cross country discipline.

The course is a true championships course: rough, tough and spectacular. The grassy roof of Moesgaard Museum, the hilly surroundings, a mud pit and a section of water are all included in the two-kilometre loop, which also includes passing through a 50×20-metre fan zone tent.

”The IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships carries a historic tradition without equal in the sport of athletics,” said competition director and CEO of Danish Athletics Jakob Larsen.

© LOC

“Cross country running is where we grew from as a sport, it is the historic ‘Blue ribbon’ event of distance running, and it is where the winner is ‘the toughest of them all’. As organisers, we aim to present a course worthy of such a race, we aim to attract spectators to create a buzzing venue, and we want to encourage the spectators to get up and close, feel the intensity of the race, and spark an interest in cross country running. A very important part of this is letting ordinary people take part in the event – to let them join the actual championships race or run in the tailor-made mass race distances on the championships course. This is a very important part of what we do together with Aarhus and Sport Event Denmark.”

Nigeria’s D’Tigress Vow To End Women’s Basketball World Cup On A High

The women’s senior national basketball team have vowed to end the 2018 FIBA World Cup on a high note on Sunday when they face world number 5, Canada in the 7th and 8th position classification game.

Despite winning the first quarter of their play off against France by 20-18, they eventually lost by 86 points to 62 on Saturday.

Elonu Adaora led D’Tigress scorers’ chat with 15 points and 2 assists while ever dependable Evelyn Akhator scored 9 points, 2 assists and 6 rebounds which was not enough to secure the much coveted win.

France with height advantage dominated inside the paint recording 69% conversion rate from their attempts while 18 points were also scored against the D’Tigress from the 3 point line with the duo of Ciak Helena and Gruda Sandrine leading the charge against D’Tigress with 16 and 15 points respectively.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s game, Head coach, Otis Hughley said the girls may be physically tired, but they are mentally ready to take on Canada and secure a win.

“Considering the number of games we have played since the world cup started, it has taken its toll on the players. The most experienced Center, Aisha Mohammed had to sit out this match because of injury she sustained against Turkey. She managed to rush back against USA, but we could not get her ready on time for the game against France.”

D’Tigress

Otis praised the Nigeria Basketball Federation for setting a standard with their organizational skills in getting the team prepared on time for the world cup.

“Early preparation made possible by the federation which saw us camp in Atlanta, Lagos and the friendly against Turkey in Istabul before the world cup was really helpful in getting us ready for our best ever finish by any African country in the history of the world cup.”

D’Tigress, ranked number 34 in the world defeated Turkey (7th), Argentina (15th) and Greece (20th) before setting up a quarter final clash with defending champions and world number 1, United States of America.

D’Tigress’ last game against Canada comes up by 11:30am

SWAN Week Kicks Off With Hospital Visitation and Draws.

The Sport Writers Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter resumes its annual SWAN week festivities on Friday September 27, 2018 with a visitation to the Randle General hospital Surulere at 10am.

As part of the opening ceremony, the draws for the SWAN Football tournament will take place at the Sports Writers Association Secretariat at the National stadium, Surulere.

Lagos SWAN week credit: Afolabi Oni

Fifteen (15) media houses and Sports media organization in Lagos will battle it out with defending champions Complete Sports for the 2018 crown.

The 8-day event is put together to celebrate sports media practitioners working in Lagos will have a Photography training session organised by the young Photo-journalist Justina Aniefiok in collaboration with the Association on Monday. The training will feature award winning facilitators like Ayodele Ojo, Segun Ogunfeyintimi, Femi Kuti and Afolabi Oni amongst others.

A free medical screening on Tuesday and an honorary reception for Nigeria Football Federation Vice President Elect Seyi Akinwunmi will take place on Thursday at the Secretariat in Surulere.

The SWAN Week will close on Friday 5th October, 2018 with a SWAN Veterans versus Family United By Sports (FUBS) novelty football match which will feature the likes of ex Super Eagles Stars Mutiu Adepoju, Ifeanyi Udeze, veteran Journalists Mitchell Obi, ex Lagos SWAN chairman Fred Edoreh, after which the Football finals will take place to officially close the event.

Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania All In Top 10 Latest WBSC Baseball World Rankings

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today unveiled the newly updated WBSC Baseball World Rankings, which weigh a country’s National Team performance — from U-12 to Professional — in official WBSC-sanctioned international competitions over a four-year period (2015-2018).

Underscoring baseball’s growing status as a major global team sport, representatives from the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania are all present within the Top 10 of the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.

“These rankings show that baseball is being played at elite levels all around the world, including key targets like Europe and Oceania, with Africa’s development on the rise as well,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “This ongoing global growth will boost the case and excitement for baseball and softball’s long-term Olympic future beyond Tokyo 2020, looking toward Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.”

The new standings in the rankings reflect recent results and over 250 games from such events as the U-15 Baseball World Cup®, the Asian Games, the Central American and Caribbean Games, the East Asian Cup, the South American Baseball Championship, the U-18 and U-12 continental championships that were played in Asia and Europe, the U-12 Pan-Am Championship, and the Balkan Baseball Championship, in addition to international friendlies.

The United States — winner of the U-15 Baseball World Cup in David, Panama, and the U-12 Pan-Am Championship in Aguascalientes, Mexico — remains atop the rankings, a position the Americas nation has held since February.

Japan, Korea and Cuba all maintained their previous positions within the Top 10, but No. 2 Japan has narrowed No. 1 USA’s lead (from 416 to 270 points) while moving further ahead of No. 3 Korea and No. 4 Cuba. Japan claimed the silver medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, earned bronze at the U-12 Asia Championship in Taipei, Taiwan, and finished fourth at the U-15 Baseball World Cup. Korea won the Asian Games and the U-18 Asia Championship, and finished in 2nd Place at the U-12 Asia Championship, but did not qualify for or earn ranking points from the U-15 Baseball World Cup.

To date, Chinese Taipei national teams have earned the most points in 2018, elevating the nation’s ranking from sixth to fifth in the world, exchanging places with Mexico. Chinese Taipei won the U-12 Asian Championship, claimed 2nd Place at the U-18 Asia Championship in Miyazaki, Japan, and earned the bronze medal at both the U-15 Baseball World Cup and Asian Games.

Europe’s top-ranked baseball nation, No. 7 Netherlands, winner of the inaugural European Super 6, advanced two places in the rankings, bypassing the now No. 8 Australia and idle/No. 9 Canada. Netherlands also finished in 8th Place at the U-15 Baseball World Cup, ahead of 9th Place Australia.

Puerto Rico — baseball gold medallists at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia — continues as the 10th ranked baseball nation in the world.

No. 11 Venezuela and No. 12 Dominican Republic remain at the critical cut-off point for qualifying into next year’s biggest and most exciting international competition, the II WBSC Premier12®, which is a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Qualifier. Baseball’s Top 12 ranked nations at the end of 2018 will compete in the global flagship Premier12, with the upcoming U-23 Baseball World Cup in Barranquilla and Monteria, Colombia, to serve as the last major opportunity to advance in the rankings.

Biggest gainers in 2018
No. 31 Indonesia +16
No. 41 Sri Lanka +11
No. 50 Chile +10
No. 58 Georgia +10
No. 34 Ukraine +9
No. 42 Ireland +9
No. 65 Nepal +8
No. 33 Philippines +7

Top teams in 2018 (most ranking points earned)
Chinese Taipei: 645
Japan: 636
United States: 490
Panama: 398
Rep. of Korea: 376
Cuba: 343
China: 317
Brazil: 287
Netherlands: 261
Dominican Republic: 254

The WBSC Baseball World Rankings web-based version and formula can be found at http://www.wbsc.org/rankings.

NBBF Deserves Accolades For Our World Cup Feat- D’Tigress

Members of the D’Tigress team have attributed their record breaking feat at the ongoing FIBA Women’s world cup to the unflinching support given the team by the board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) under the able leadership of Eng. Musa Kida.

The team said the solid structure which has continued to cause upsets would not have been possible without the right condition and atmosphere they are currently enjoying from the federation.

Speaking ahead of their quarter final game against United States of America on Friday, they unanimously agreed that their focus is on winning the 2018 FIBA Women’s world cup gold to compensate the President and the entire board for a job well done.

Team captain, Adaora Elonu said the world should not just be fixated on what the girls have achieved at the world cup without paying special attention to those who made it happen.

“We have never had this good until now. The world is talking about Nigeria upsetting bigger foes, but before we got to this stage, some people (NBBF) have been working behind the scene to make sure that the players have the best of preparation and a conducive atmosphere heading to the world cup.”

Adaora said their success story which saw them win the 2017 African Women Championship and a quarter final ticket for the first time in the history of any African team cannot be complete without a special mention of Musa Kida and other board members.

Still buzzing from their quarter finals qualifiers win against Greece, the players are confident that they can upset USA on the road to a gold medal finish in appreciation of the ever supportive board and Nigerians.

Speaking after their last training session on Thursday, Atonye Nyingifa said the team’s ultimate target having qualified for the quarter finals is to be crowned world champions.

“That is our focus and that is what we are driving at. It just seems that for the past 2 years, our team has had great momentum which can be traced to the federation’s determination to see Nigeria do things right and rule the world.

“As long as we play together, stick together and do what we know to be our identity, I have no doubt in my mind that we are going for the gold.”

The forward who is not unaware of the threat posed by the world number one in their quest to win the coveted trophy said “We are going to expect them to come out playing hard and setting out with their best foot.

“They have a lot of height, speed on their team, they are a great team and they are projected to make it to the championships but I think we are going to go out there and give our best”, Atonye continued.

One of the tournament’s leading rebounders, Evelyn Akhator said “Nobody thought we would make it this far except for the President who said that Nigeria can shock the world. Whoever God wants to win will win no matter the level of opposition.”

Having defeated Turkey, Argentina and Greece who are all ranked in the top 20 in the world, Akhator is not perturbed playing against USA.

“It does not matter who we are facing. They will try to defend their title I really don’t care. We have come this far and we are not looking back

The game comes up at 11:30 am